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[03/18/11 - 11:37 PM]
Development Update: Friday, March 18
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:

Looking to keep track of all the various projects in development? Click here to visit our signature "Devwatch" section. There visitors can view our listings by network, genre, studio and even development stage (ordered to pilot, cast-contingent, script, etc.). It's updated every day!


17TH PRECINCT (NBC) - Esai Morales ("Caprica") is the latest addition to the pilot, a police drama set in an alternate version of San Francisco where magic rules instead of science. He'll play Detective Inspector Liam Butterfield, Wilder Blanks's (Eamonn Walker) able lieutenant ("his face as smooth and sleek as Wilder's is craggy"). James Callis, Jamie Bamber, Kristin Kreuk, Matt Long, Stockard Channing and Tricia Helfer also star in the Sony Pictures Television-based hour, from director Michael Rymer and writer Ronald D. Moore.


AMERICAN HORROR STORY (FX) - Connie Britton ("Friday Night Lights") is the first to be cast in the top-secret drama pilot, from co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. She'll play Vivien Harmon, "a force to be reckoned with in spite of her vulnerable demeanor." She's married to Ben Harmon, a sensitive therapist, however no other specifics have been released. Murphy is helming the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, which begins production next month. Britton was previously attached to star in another project at the cable channel from David O. Russell.


ARE YOU THERE VODKA? IT'S ME CHELSEA (NBC) - Lenny Clarke ("Rescue Me") is the latest addition to the comedy pilot, which is inspired by Chelsea Handler's best-selling autobiographical book of the same name about her twentysomething adventures. He's on board as Melvin ("overweight, wears a track suit, Air Jordans and sports a Bluetooth"), Chelsea's (Laura Prepon) uncensored father. Dottie Zicklin and Julie Ann Larson are behind the Warner Bros. Television-based project, to be directed by Gail Mancuso. Angel Laketa Moore, Jo Koy, Lauren Lapkus, Mark Povinelli, Natalie Morales and Handler herself also star.


THE ASSISTANTS (CBS) - Heather Locklear has scored a role on the comedy pilot, about four assistants who toil for a celebrity couple. She's set as Ali Vance ("pretty and self-involved"), one half of the aforementioned couple (the other being the yet-to-be-cast Gale Meeks). Emily Rutherfurd also stars as her sister Liddy, who supervises said staff: house assistant Mike (David Henrie), Ali's driver/assistant DJ (T.J. Miller) and Gale's assistant Scott (Lamorne Morris). CBS Television Studios is behind the half-hour, from director Pamela Fryman and writer Tucker Cawley.


BAD MOM (ABC) - Tom Everett Scott ("Southland") has snagged the male lead on the comedy pilot, about Julia (Jenna Elfman), a single mother of two, who's forced to actually raise her kids once her mother, Marian (Frances Conroy) - who had been filling said void, decides she wants her life back. He'll play Ted Lacey ("early forties, good hair, slightly nervy"), Julia's husband, whose demanding boss keeps him from helping at home. Chris Koch is directing the ABC Studios-based half-hour from a script by creator/co-star Sharon Horgan.


FREE AGENTS (NBC) - "Chelsea Lately" staple Mo Mandel has been cast in the comedy pilot, about "the attraction between two quirky PR executives working together - Alex (Hank Azaria) and Helen - who both are on the rebound, Alex from a divorce and Helen from the loss of a fiance." He'll play their co-worker Dan ("frat-boy handsome, confident") in the half-hour, which comes from Universal Media Studios and writer John Enbom. Todd Holland is directing.


GEORGETOWN (ABC) - "Undercovers" alumnus Boris Kodjoe has landed a role on the drama pilot, about a quartet of young staffers in Washington, D.C. - Sam (Daisy Betts), Nikki (Katie Cassidy), Peter (Joseph Mazzello) and Andrew (Jimmy Wolk) - who share a DuPont Circle townhouse together. He's set as Sam's boss, White House Senior Adviser Michael Kline ("a youthful 42, fiercely intelligent"). Condola Rashad, Kevin Zegers, Tiya Sircar and Wendy Crewson also star. Mark Piznarski is directing the Will Fetters-penned hour for Warner Bros. Television.


HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN (CBS) - Kevin Dillon ("Entourage") and Mary Lynn Rajskub ("24") have both joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about Alan (David Hornsby), an uptight magazine writer who learns the lessons of life with the help of Bert, his old high school classmate. Dillon will play the aforementioned Bert ("thirties, sloppy"), who doesn't know boundaries and retains the optimism of a teenager. Rajskub then is set as Janet ("attractive, absolutely no-bullshit"), Alan's sister, with the previously cast Rhys Darby as her earnest, brow-beaten husband, Mike. Nancy Lenehan and Dave Foley also star in the CBS Television Studios-based project, which Pamela Fryman is directing from a script by Hornsby.


I HATE MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER (FOX) - Kevin Rahm, Chad Coleman, Rosa Blasi, Kristi Lauren and Aisha Dee have all boarded the comedy pilot, about two divorced women - Annie Watson (Jaime Pressly) and Nikki Miller (Katie Finneran) - who now have daughters just like the girls who picked on them in high school. Lauren and Dee will play said girls, Sophie and Mackenzie, respectively. Coleman then is set as Gary ("a great looking African-American man"), Mackenzie's father and Nikki's ex; while Rahm will play Jack, a love interest for Annie - who also happens to be her ex Matt's (Eric Sheffer Stevens) brother/Sophie's uncle. And finally, Blasi will guest as Deanna Dunbar ("a typical Texas beauty who is always smiling, even as she says mean and rude things"), the principal at the girls' high school. Warner Bros. Television is behind the half-hour, which Andy Ackerman is directing from a script by Ellen Kreamer and Sherry Bilsing-Graham.


LOST & FOUND (ABC) - Todd Grinnell ("Desperate Housewives") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about Jo (Jordana Spiro), a New York bartender and party girl who has her life upended when Leo (Gary Clayton), the 18-year-old son she gave up for adoption - and who happens to be conservative - finds his way into her life. He'll play Max Johnson ("a little nebbish but overall pretty damn cute"), Jo's neighbor, a divorced dad who works as a Superman for kids' birthday parties. Diana Maria Riva and Josh Casaubon co-star in the Warner Bros. Television-based project, which Ted Wass is helming off a script by Marisa Coughlan.


OTHER PEOPLE'S KIDS (ABC) - Tom Arnold has scored a role on the comedy pilot, about Adam (Jesse Bradford), a 32-year-old guy with no responsibilities who suddenly finds himself with an insta-family when he falls in love with Michelle (Bonnie Somerville), an older woman with two kids - not to mention an ex-husband Dave (Johnny Sneed) and an ex-mother-in-law Laura (Judith Light) still very much in the picture. He'll play Les, Laura's lover - a potentially recurring role. Also featured in the ABC Studios-based half-hour are Claire Engler and Malcolm Barrett. Hunter Covington penned the project, to be directed by Michael Fresco.


UNTITLED EMILY SPIVEY PROJECT (NBC) - Christina Applegate ("Samantha Who?") has booked the lead role on the comedy pilot, "an irreverent look at parenthood through the point of view of an acerbic working mother, along with her stay-at-home husband and opinionated parents." She'll play said woman, Reagan, in the half-hour, which comes from Lorne Michaels's Universal Media Studios-based Broadway Video Television. Applegate and her manager Eric Kanzler will also receive executive producer credits. Emily Spivey penned the project, production of which was contingent on casting Applegate's role.


UNTITLED PETER KNIGHT PROJECT (CBS) - Michelle Trachtenberg ("Mercy") and Tim Peper ("Carpoolers") have both been cast in the comedy pilot, about a group of assistants and junior executives as they juggle love, friendship, and the corporate ladder. She'll play the "self-possessed, bright, fun" Gracie with Peper presumably as Snyder ("Beavis, if he'd been born rich"). They join the previously cast Larry Wilmore in the CBS Television Studios/Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour, which Neil Patrick Harris is directing off a script by Peter Knight.






  [march 2011]  
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· 17TH PRECINCT (NBC)
· 24 (FOX)
· AMERICAN HORROR STORY (FX)
· ARE YOU THERE, CHELSEA? (NBC)
· ASSISTANTS, THE (CBS)
· BAD MOM (ABC)
· CAPRICA (SYFY)
· CARPOOLERS (ABC)
· DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· ENTOURAGE (HBO)
· FREE AGENTS (NBC)
· FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (DIRECTV)
· GEORGETOWN (ABC)
· HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN (CBS)
· I HATE MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER (FOX)
· LOST & FOUND (ABC)
· MERCY (NBC)
· OTHER PEOPLE'S KIDS (ABC)
· RESCUE ME (FX)
· SAMANTHA WHO? (ABC)
· SOUTHLAND (TNT)
· UNDERCOVERS (NBC)
· UNTITLED PETER KNIGHT PILOT (CBS)
· UP ALL NIGHT (NBC)











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